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Trust Begins by NOT Throwing Up on the Prospect (Part 1 of 2)

I have read many articles on how to build trust and agree with most points the writer is trying to make. Notice I said most. Some points have nothing at all to do with building trust. Sure you need to do what you say you are going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. And yes, I agree that being timely and explaining things thoroughly are important, but in the grand scheme of things, these have little to do with building trust, rather they are just good sales and business habits.

I recently conducted a sales training workshop for a group of CPA’s. Like many of you reading this article, CPA’s are NOT full time sales people, but they are asked to sell every single day. During the course of the workshop, there was a common theme amongst all of the CPA’s, they are really good at accounting and do a great job closing sales when they’ve been referred to a new prospect, but struggle mightily at opening doors without the referral. Why? One word…TRUST. When you call on a referral, you’ve automatically inherited a small amount of trust because of the person that referred you. In the case of a cold call, you start from square one and have to earn it the hard way.

When calling on someone new without the aid of a referral, most sales people begin by saying their name and who they are with and what they sell. They go on and on about how good their service is and how much money they can save them. They say things like I’m confident that given a chance, I can help you too. I call this technique, throwing up on the prospect because all the caller really does is talk about themselves and their products and/or services. Unfortunately, this does absolutely nothing to build trust so over 95% of the time, the caller gets told no and they move on to their next victim. They continue this process until someone finally listens to them and agrees to meet. Typically this is someone lower on the decision making totem pole, but hey, at least they said yes.

Here is an example of what I’ve seen sales people use:

Mr. Prospect, my name is John and I’m with XYZ, Inc., and we are one of the largest firms in the area. We have 12 field technicians that provide our customers the best possible service. We’ve been around for over 20 years and our products are reliable and time tested. I’d like to talk with you about our company as I’m sure we can save you money when compared to our competition. Would next Tuesday morning work or would Thursday afternoon be better?

It’s called throwing up on the prospect because at no point in time did the prospect speak. At no point in time did the caller ask a question except if they’d like to meet. At no point in time, did they offer any real value as to why they should meet except that they think they’re a great company. It’s impossible to build trust in this manner because it’s all about me me me.

Later this week, I’ll share what I’ve seen work well and will keep the vomit off of the prospect!

Thank you for reading this post. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

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Gary Kieper, CEPA, CFBA, is President at Kieper Sales Solutions.

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